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GSCOP – why it should mean a lot to you

13th December 2018

Did you know that there’s a legally binding set of regulations which govern the relationship between supplier and retailer in the UK? There is, it is commonly known as GSCOP, the Grocery Supply Code of Practice. Put simply, these rules are there to protect the supplier from unfair business practices during the course of engagement with the retailer, to make the relationship a fair one, ensuring suppliers get a good deal when dealing with supermarkets. Regulated by the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA), Christine Tacon CBE (former boss of Co-op Group’s farms), who in turn is part of the Competition and Markets Authority. Under Christine’s leadership, GCA has been internationally recognised as a model example of modern enforcement.


Up to now, the regulations have applied to direct grocery suppliers to the major retailers; Aldi, Asda, Co-Op, Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. If you supply food or drink to any of these retailers, even if you are based outside of the UK, the regulations apply.


This year, a major review of which retailers GSCOP applies to has been carried out. In November 2018, two further retailers were added; B&M and Ocado. In addition, Booker has been informing suppliers of how it will align with GSCOP now it is part of Tesco. This is fantastic news and brings a huge number of additional suppliers under the protection of fair practice. Sure, there is a way to go – it was heavily rumoured that Amazon and Boots would also join them, but sadly this wasn’t to be.


Research by the GCA shows only 1 in 3 suppliers has received any training in GSCOP. Have you? All retailers have to have their commercial staff trained each and every year. No such onus is on suppliers, it’s down to you to know the rules through getting your training for all retailer-facing staff.

Stuart Sadler


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